Excerpted from Tampa Bay Times story.
Cocktails in the African realm, dinner in the greenscaped safari lodge and penguin naming rights made the 30th annual Karamu wildly successful for ZooTampa at Lowry Park, adding nearly $300,000 for wildlife conservation to the $5 million the party has raised to date.
Mother Nature’s rain dance didn’t daunt Karamu co-chairs Emily and Andrew Wright, CEO of Franklin Street commercial real estate firm, nor board chairwoman Marylou Bailey, briefly ducking under umbrellas at Saturday’s “Step into the Wild” black-tie gala. Soon enough, the 350 guests ventured outside to feed giraffes, chat with an owl and snap Selfies with a hedgehog.
The chance to name a newly-hatched penguin was so popular that auctioneers tripled the opportunity, swiftly raising $33,000 from bidders Carmen and Harry Barkett. Nicole and Dan Doyle Jr. and John and Wendy Thomas.